Following are the profiles of the eight organisations who are part of this learning journey along with an excerpt of their proposed project for 2023:
MAP Foundation, Thailand, established in 1996 works with the mission to empower migrant workers from Burma and their communities to take action to claim their rights and to fight discrimination against migrant workers.
With their project titled Solidarity Soap, MAP aims to build solidarity and grow its membership of migrant domestic workers through small enterprise capacity building and advocacy. They are upscaling a solution that emerged amongst this group during the initial impact of COVID. As people in this group were losing their jobs and falling into debt, daily expenses became a burden. They sought to find a way to assist each other during the hard times. They exchanged information via Line (social media app) on job opportunities, and then decided they wanted to do something to reduce their cost of living. The idea came up with the need to reduce daily expenses like dishwashing detergent and clothes-washing detergent. They started making their own using basic ingredients and filling recycled bottles. They began distributing it to other members and felt that it was an enterprise they wanted to continue as part of this learning journey.
The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), Hong Kong, established in 1984, is a regional center committed to supporting the migrant movement through advocacy, organising, and building linkages for the advancement of migrants’ rights, with a mission to build and enhance the grassroots community movement of women migrants.
This project titled ‘Amplifying Voice of Migrants in Japan for Empowerment, Service and Action’ was conceived as APMM’s role in movement-building. The project primarily works with Filipino and other migrant workers in Japan, to ensure gender equality. In the course of the project implementation, migrant organisations Kafin Migrant Center (KMC) and Migrante Japan will be involved and help shape the activities. This project was inspired by APMM’s experience of thriving movement-building among migrants in last three years, by utilising new and digital technology and employing different strategies to continue the education, campaigning and organising work.
Serve the People Association (SPA), Taiwan, was founded by people concerned for workers, including labor advocates, scholars, lawyers, businessmen, workers and union officers in 2008. SPA offers free services to workers, including legal consultation, mediation of labor disputes, and assistance to unionise.
This project titled Migrant YouTubers, Migrant Podcasters is focused on deepening SPA’s understanding of recording videos, live broadcasts, and podcasts, and also different platforms that we can disseminate the programs. The managers and officers of the two unions-the National Domestic Workers Union (NDWU) and the Factory Workers Association Taiwan (FWAT) have made some live ‘know your rights’ broadcasts on Facebook with the help of SPA and they want to reach a wider audience using different social media mediums.
Tenaganita, Malaysia is a human rights organisation dedicated to assisting, building, advocating, and protecting migrants, refugees, women, and children from exploitation, abuse, discrimination, slavery, and human trafficking. We have offices and women’s shelters in the state of Selangor (Petaling Jaya) and Pulau Pinang (Penang).
This project titled ‘Support Services Program for Survivors of Human Trafficking in Selangor and Penang’ is designed for victims/survivors. They requested more structured skill programs to enable them to gain skills and training while they are in the shelter that can be applied when are reintegrating upon their repatriation. This also includes self-care sessions for them to help ease the ongoing trauma and stress.
Comitato or The Committee for the Civil Rights of Prostitutes onlus (CDCP ApS), Italy, founded in 1983, works with the main goal of advocating for the recognition of the human, social and labour rights of sex workers at a local, national, and international scale.
In the project titled Still I Rise - SIR, Comitato plans to apply its long-standing expertise in training project beneficiaries to become peers or linguistic and cultural mediators. This will be a tailor-made training course for one or two persons as concrete examples for other survivors who face the negative impact of stringent immigration legislation and the non-recognition of their human rights. The training will provide them with knowledge of the Italian labour market, legislation on immigration, and work as social operators. It will attend to suggestions made by the survivors themselves on how to approach migrant communities and engage with them on different issues.
Intervention and Sensitization against Trafficking Mission (MIST), France, established in 2020 is a community-based organization in France, created by a group of survivors of Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) who mobilize themselves to combat human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation through a participative approach.
This project titled ‘Empowering survivors in social work against THB: Focus on Ethics and Advocacy’ is an extension of MIST’s previous project “Empowering survivors in social work against THB” in 2022. Active members of MIST benefited from the community organizing training by a French organization called “Organisez-vous”. As a result of this training, they gathered into a group they called “Roots” and created the MIST rules and regulation booklet. In 2023, MIST will support “Roots” with a capacity-building process focused on ethics and advocacy. This group becomes the Ethic Council of Mist to define the internal process for active members, delegates, and spokesperson to help them to achieve their mission of peace-making (with delegates) and advocacy (with spokespersons) in a genuinely participatory way.
Melissa: Network of Migrant Women, Greece, founded in 2014 is a network for migrant and refugee women in Greece promoting their empowerment, integration into Greek society, and active citizenship.
This project titled ‘Transformational Leadership Training for women leaders from diverse origin’ was chosen to emphasise migrant and refugee women’s innate vast potential for leadership, too often unrecognized and untapped. This project acknowledges migrant women with experience in a leadership role and engages them in all its levels and phases, such as in planning and implementation of a leadership integration pathway program. This approach will enhance and strengthen their leadership skills, drawing from their own interaction and exchange, per their own request and desire to support each other and grow together, rather than through an external theoretical expert in a specialized, yet restricted, field.
Southeast and East Asian Centre, United Kingdom, registered in 2020, is a community organisation for and by migrants, refugees, and people seeking asylum from East and Southeast Asia (ESEA) and people of these heritages living in the UK.
The project titled ‘Voice and Participation of Vietnamese Migrants: Lived experiences of migration, “everyday borders”, doing and seeking work in the UK’ will involve employability skills training, rights informing workshops, and other advocacy and campaign activities. This is based on SEEAC’s previously conducted sharing and training on employment rights information with the community of Vietnamese Migrants. This has been developed in consultation with their partner organisation, Nails Viet Association (NVA), who have shared that the coverage of the mainstream media and the treatment from the law enforcement and the immigration authorities caused a public backlash against the Vietnamese beauty industry that damaged the community and their businesses.